This weekend over 70 Deerfield hockey alumni and alumnae gathered on campus to watch this year’s Deerfield teams in action and celebrate the lifetime of the iconic and beloved “Barn” hockey arena. Alumni laced up their skates and hopped on the ice one last time to participate in a fast-paced and fun-filled alumni game. Following the game, alumni enjoyed cheering for our girls and boys hockey teams as they played host to Taft and Choate respectively.
“We can sometimes forget how strong memories are made through our teams and those experiences competing with one another. Facilities get closely tied to these memories, and no hockey player at Deerfield these past 60 years will ever forget the feeling of playing in the Barn. I saw so many alums walking slowly through the building this weekend—staring up at the ceiling, the banners, the benches, and the bleachers. These familiar sights, sounds, and even smells brought them back to their days of wearing a Deerfield jersey. I could see it in their eyes,” said Athletic Director Bob Howe.
The rink was built in 1957 and it was the first indoor hockey rink constructed on campus. Until then, skaters had to contend with the often uncooperative New England weather and make do with outdoor rinks; members of the hockey teams and other students played crucial roles in their upkeep.
Over the past 60 years, the Barn has been home to former and current NHL and NWHL players and many NCAA college student-athletes. The rink has also been home to boys’ New England Division-I Championships in 1984 and 2003, and the girls captured the same title in 2001. 2016-2017 marks the end of an era and the beginning of a new one: the 60-year old hockey arena is set to be demolished in March and rebuilt into a new Athletic Complex that will open in 2018.
In reflecting upon this past weekend and his days in the Barn both as faculty member and alumnus, Drew Philie ’09 said, “This past weekend was an amazing experience. It was great connecting with so many passionate alumni about their experiences here at Deerfield and their time playing hockey here. Alums are sad to see the old Barn go, myself included, but we are very excited for the state-of-the-art facility that will go in. The new facility will give our hockey players the opportunity to skate at a world class rink and create endless memories—like the ones many of us shared this weekend. We are excited for the future of Deerfield Hockey!”
Alumni Hockey Picture Album Coming Soon…
Thank you to all the alumni/ae who traveled from far and near to be back on campus this weekend!